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Voices Against Brain Cancer Commends Researchers for the Identification of an Important Protein that May Give Insight to More Effective Glioblastoma Treatments

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 01, 2013

Voices Against Brain Cancer commends Washington University School of Medicine researchers for identifying a protein that may give scientists better insight into more effective treatments for glioblastoma patients.

According to an October 21, 2013 article published by Medical Xpress titled “New Clue to Aggressive Brain Tumors”, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, identified a “biological marker” that may help scientists and doctors predict survival in patients who suffer from the most aggressive form of brain cancer – glioblastoma.

The protein, called F11R, is made by noncancerous cells. When F11R is present at higher levels, glioblastomas appear to be more aggressive. The noncancerous cells that make up the protein are called monocytes which are found within the tumor. Monocytes normally work to protect healthy brain cells; however they can provide critical support to tumor cells.

Senior author and the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology, David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, and his team of collaborators have been studying how non-cancerous cells contribute to brain cancer formation and growth, with particular focus on the role of the F11R protein.

"When we checked for connections between F11R levels and the aggressiveness of brain tumors, we found more F11R-expressing monocytes in malignant tumors relative to their more benign counterparts," he says. "Moreover, even among the most malignant tumors we could use F11R to predict differences in patient survival rates."

Gutmann and his team are working to identify certain factors that are made by monocytes that help brain tumors grow in order to devise more effective glioblastoma treatments that can be used in the future. “The idea that we may be able to starve brain cancer cells of critical growth factors produced by noncancerous support cells may one day lead to the development of additional strategies to combine with conventional chemotherapy or radiation to combat brain tumors in children and adults.”

Michael Klipper, Chairman of Voices Against Brain Cancer, an organization dedicated to brain cancer research and advocacy, commends Gutmann and his team for their ongoing efforts. “It’s extremely comforting to see that the world’s most renowned scientists are working 24/7/365 to find an effective remedy to this terrible disease,” he says. “It gives everyone in the brain cancer community hope and a reason to believe that there will one day be a way to cure brain cancer.”

VABC has a wide variety of initiatives in place for brain cancer research, awareness and support. The organization’s research grants fund cutting-edge research programs that will have a monumental impact on the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. VABC currently funds research at several esteemed institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, John Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Yale, to name a few.

VABC's mission is to find a cure for brain cancer by advancing scientific research, increasing awareness within the medical community and supporting patients, their families and caregivers afflicted with this devastating disease.

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